Do I need added internet security for a laptop?

I’ve had my 5 year old desktop secured with antivirus,spyware,firewall,adware,etc. I just purchased my first laptop & since I’m now wireless, my paranoia has come up. Aside from the usual antivirus/spyware/firewall protection, do I need to get something with “wifi security”, “bi-directional firewall”, and bluetooth protection(‘bluesnarfing’ and ‘bluejacking’ can allow attackers using easily available software to hack into data held on the laptops, or use the machine as a conduit for other activities)? With all these different security programs I’m starting to wonder if they’re really necessary. I’m running vista ultimate & IE7 (which have protection & encryption), Norton Internet Security, keep my file sharing “off”, & I’ll be installing Windows defender and Yahoo’s antispyware. Is this enough to keep my laptop data safe in a public wifi area or do I also have to get more security like the one’s I mentioned above? My apologies for the long post & gratitude to those who took the time.

2 replies
  1. W G says:

    In addition to the software you mentioned in your question, I would include establishing a VPN tunnel from your laptop to a hard-wired distant-end server to ensure that any/all traffic between you and the server is not able to be sniffed. Furthermore, if you create a closed VPN tunnel, you can be assured that everything from your laptop must go across the tunnel to get out of your system, thereby eliminating the possibility that while you’re connected to the VPN end-point that anyone else can talk to your laptop.

    If you have anything that’s sensitive, personal, or even of questionable nature on your laptop, I’d also get either TrueCrypt and/or PGP Whole Disk Encryption. TrueCrypt will encrypt a section (volume) of the drive while PGP Whole Disk Encryption will encrypt the entire drive, including the boot sector. It doesn’t help you if the laptop’s turned on and the password’s been typed in, but if they steal it, they’re SOL. If you never write it down, you are protected in the U.S. by the 5th Amendment when using TrueCrypt and you have plausible deniability for whatever is on there. I’m not trying to say that you’re breaking the law, I’m just saying that you don’t have to give anyone your password, especially if giving it up would be self-incriminating.


  2. Helping Since 1969 says:

    first and foremost, stop being so paranoid, secondly windows defender is already installed and running if using vista, third….as long as you have file sharing turned off, and run and update your antivirus program on a regular basis, and you may also want to turn on encryption for any files/folders that have sensitive material, or better yet…..keep that info/files on a secure jump drive, then you don’t have the files on the laptop to be accessible, and can encrypt and store all your sensitive files for use not only with your laptop but also your desktop and any other pc you want to plug it into.

    I personally would never use norton as it is a system hog and a half and doesn’t really seem to secure things as well anymore….it just seems to be as annoying as the user access control in vista. I prefer AVG…..either free or pro….pro gives you more options and plugins and is worth the 30 bucks…..there are other encryption and security programs out there but overall, as long as you run updates and scans on a regular basis, and don’t leave personal or sensitive material on the laptop unencrypted, you’ll be fine.

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